Healthcare Marketing Analytics: The Age of Discovery and the Need for a New Approach to Analytics

November 6, 2018

// By Carrie Liken //

Carrie Liken, head of healthcare industry at YextWe are in the New Age of Discovery. It’s all about how a patient is exposed to and finds your health system, your brand, and your providers. Patients are discovering healthcare differently today than they did even two years ago. And this requires new ways of approaching your marketing strategies and measuring the success of those strategies.

Patients are more sophisticated and empowered regarding their healthcare than ever before. They have been trained by Google and Amazon to expect more from their digital healthcare experience. And while they are searching online for healthcare, you’d better be tracking those searches and the value of the journey the patient takes.

All Marketing Leads to Digital…

Are you thinking of your marketing department and your marketing strategy as one piece and not as separate digital and non-digital entities? All marketing today leads to digital and should be analyzed accordingly. There is no excuse for not proving the value of your marketing efforts beyond the basics — reach, frequency, total website visits — or worse, not valuing your marketing efforts at all. You should be thinking about how every piece of marketing, whether it is a direct mail piece or a digital asset, leads to a search.

…But Investments Haven’t Caught Up

I have visited with more than 260 health systems in the past two years and have heard many variations of this message: “We can’t track marketing efforts.” I’ve seen consistent annual investments in traditional marketing initiatives that cost a lot of money, are scrutinized very little, and generate little to no ROI. I’ve also seen digital marketing investments that are highly scrutinized and return high levels of measurable ROI.

Yet when one health system recently shared its marketing budget for the year, only 4 percent was allocated to digital marketing initiatives while the rest was allocated to traditional marketing initiatives.

This begs the question:

  • How much ROI is a health system seeing from that 96 percent investment in traditional marketing?
  • How many patients will the health system lose as a result of paying so little attention to reaching them digitally while they are searching online?
Carrie Liken, head of industry for healthcare at Yext, argues that no matter the path, the patient journey will inevitably lead online — and not just to your website. Yet many organizations fail to understand or measure the interrelationships between traditional and digital channels, and don’t plan for that crossover to digital. Here, Liken shares steps beginner, intermediate, and advanced marketers can take to become more analytically proficient.

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